Troy Zander. (Courtesy photo)
Troy Zander, a venture debt finance partner at DLA Piper in Silicon Valley and San Diego, is headed to Cooley. The move comes three months after Zander was named managing partner of DLA Piper’s offices in San Diego.
DLA Piper has strong roots in the region stemming from San Diego-based predecessor firm Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, which merged in 2005 with Baltimore-based Piper Rudnick and the U.K.’s DLA to form its current iteration. Zander joined DLA Piper that same year from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, a firm he headed to a year earlier from what was then still Gray Cary.
At DLA Piper, Zander specialized in representing lenders on middle-market financing transactions for life sciences and technology companies, while also serving as a pro bono coordinator at the firm, where he was a member of the global legal giant’s U.S. pro bono committee. (Zander also served as chairman of the board for Feeding America San Diego, a nonprofit group that helps San Diegans in need.)
Zander credited Cooley debt finance partner John Hale, who mentored him when both lawyers worked at Gray Cary in the mid-1990s, with recruiting him to his new firm, which Hale joined 12 years ago this week.
“He and I had been staying connected over all the years, even when we weren’t working under the same umbrella, about one day maybe getting the band back together,” said Zander, noting that Cooley has a larger team than DLA Piper tasked with handling the lender and borrower side of transactions.
Cooley’s website lists seven key contacts in the U.S. for its debt finance practice, while DLA Piper lists six in Europe, but only once on this side of the Atlantic. Zander said there is some overlap between the client sets at DLA Piper and Cooley, but he expects his clients to follow him to his new 854-lawyer firm, which saw technology transactions bolster its bottom line in 2016.
“Troy is very well-known in the venture debt space,” Hale said in a statement prepared by Cooley. “He has the dominant venture lending practice in Southern California as well as a substantial presence in Northern California and along the East Coast. His practice will complement all that we have built at Cooley and we could not be happier to welcome him.”
DLA Piper partner Jeff Baglio has replaced Zander as managing partner of the firm’s operations in San Diego, which include an office downtown and an outpost in the Golden Triangle district, a part of the city’s metropolitan area that includes the technology hubs of La Jolla and University City. DLA Piper, which in recent months has shed some of its widespread—and far-flung—real estate obligations, said that it has no plans to consolidate its operations in San Diego.
DLA Piper, which saw its gross revenue slip slightly last year, recently watched civil litigation partner Jesse Hindman leave its office in downtown San Diego to start his own trial firm. (Hindman did not return a request for comment.) But DLA Piper has also been busy making lateral hires, bringing back Diana Erbsen this week as a tax partner in New York from the U.S. Department of Justice and picking up Hogan Lovells trade secrets and IP litigation partner William “Skip” Fisher to head its China patent practice in Shanghai.
As for Cooley, the firm’s hire of Zander is the latest addition to its debt finance group, which last month landed Shearman & Sterling partner Patrick Flanagan in New York. Cooley also snagged Stroock & Stroock & Lavan’s private equity practice leader Ray LaSoya for its Los Angeles office in February.
Additional reporting by Brian Baxter.
Troy Zander, a venture debt finance partner at
“He and I had been staying connected over all the years, even when we weren’t working under the same umbrella, about one day maybe getting the band back together,” said Zander, noting that
“Troy is very well-known in the venture debt space,” Hale said in a statement prepared by
Additional reporting by Brian Baxter.